In September 2017, the management team of WPG Belgium, supported by an group of Flemish investors, realized the management buy-out of Standaard Uitgeverij out of the WPG group. In October 2019, Standaard Uitgeverij and Ballon Media bundled forces to become the biggest publisher in Belgium and the most important publisher of Dutch-speaking comic books.
Standaard Uitgeverij is the market leader in fiction books with renowned authors like Pieter Aspe (thriller), Dirk Bracke (young adult books) as in non-fiction books with the famous cook Jeroen Meus. In the market segment of comic books, Standaard Uitgeverij holds an impressive portfolio with titles as Suske & Wiske, Jommeke, De Kiekeboes, FC De Kampioen, Urbanus, Lucky Luke, Largo Winch, XIII, … Standaard Uitgeverij also distributes - on an exclusive basis - the titles of international publishing companies like Dupuis, Dargaud, Le Lombard, … and sets-up a variety of merchandising initiatives.
The publishing industry has to deal with seasonal peaks where high sales volumes are realized in the second half of the year. Consequently, working capital needs are following the same pattern.
The Debt & Equity Advisory Services team of BDO advised the shareholders and the management team of Standaard Uitgeverij on the restructuring and refinancing of its global credit facilities of EUR 8 mio in order to cope with the seasonality of its business and to substantially reduce the total financing costs.